Work opportunities in Australia for international students
Updated on Dec 9, 2015 - 12:09 p.m. IST by Shreelata
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Arden University, Berlin
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Work opportunities in Australia:
Studying in Australia is definitely an expensive affair for international students, especially for those from developing countries. High tuition fees and cost of living are the two major factors that usually make offshore students in Australia, coming from countries of relatively lower valued currencies, to consider working while studying. Though the money earned while studying is not enough for international students, a supplementary income at least helps them in meeting their daily requirements. Apart from this, working while studying also offers developing career-related skills and experiences, which substantially complement a student’s overall academic learning.

According to the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the average living costs in Australia are as follow:


  • Hostels and Guesthouses - $80 to $135 (AUD) per week

  • Shared Rental - $70 to $250  (AUD) per week

  • On campus - $80 to $250 (AUD) per week

  • Homestay - $110 to $270 (AUD) per week

  • Rental - $100 to $400 (AUD)  per week

  • Boarding schools - $10,000 to $20,000 (AUD) a year

Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out - $80 to $200 (AUD) per week

  • Gas, electricity - $60 to $100 (AUD) per week

  • Phone and Internet - $20 to $50 (AUD) per week

  • Public transport - $10 to $50 (AUD) per week

  • Car (after purchase) - $150 to $250 (AUD) per week

  • Entertainment - $50 to $100 (AUD) per week

Let us discuss the available work opportunities in Australia for international students.


As per the information given on the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection site, international students willing to work and earn during academic sessions must have a student visa with work permission.

International students, who obtained student visa to study in Australian universities after 26th April, 2008, don’t need separate work permit for doing part-time jobs while attending academic session, as with effect from the said date, the government has started granting work permission along with the student visa grant. Prior to that, students had to apply separately for obtaining permission to work in Australia. Now, receiving student visa and work permission involves a single application procedure, which saves both time and money of the future international students at Australian universities.


Some major highlights regarding work permission for student visa holders in Australia are as follow:

  • With effect from 26th April, 2008, students will receive work permission with their visa grant. They need not apply separately to obtain permission for work and student visa.

  • The application fee for student visa in Australia is $535 AUD, at present.

  • Most student visas in Australia allow students to work part time up to 20 hours per week while their academic session is going on. And, during any scheduled course break, they can work for unrestricted hours, but before undertaking any paid work, students should ensure that their student visa aligns permissions to work.

  • Whether it is a part-time work or an internship/training component of the programme of study, the 20-hour-per-week limit should not exceed in any circumstances. If an international student fails to abide by this Australian work hour restrictions, his or her visa grant will be cancelled.

  • A work week in Australia is considered to be Monday to Sunday.

  • According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, students can start working only after their sessions begin. However, they are allowed to arrive in Australia around 90 days before the commencement of their courses.

Work opportunities in Australia for family members of international students

All the work opportunities in Australia for international students can also be availed of by their family members (spouses and children) accompanying them under their student visa grant. They also enjoy the same work rights as students, and are allowed to work for 20 hours per week as well. But unlike students, family members are restricted to this 20-hours-work limit even during holidays. However, family members of students studying graduate courses can grab work opportunities in Australia for unlimited hours.

Work rights for student visa holders in Australia

Every international student who is working either part-time during session or full-time during holidays can enjoy all the basic work rights a professional in Australia is entitled to, and which include:

  • A minimum wage

  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job

  • Breaks and rest periods

  • A healthy and safe work environment

Future international students who want to get admission at the top ranked Australian universities, as mentioned in the QS league table, should decide well in advance whether they will work during studying or not, and apply for student visa accordingly.

If you hold a student visa grant with work permission and have appropriate qualifications and/or professional work experience, you can take paid part time work in Australia during leisure academic hours and make extra income. Students can explore following industries that offer part time work opportunities in Australia for international students:

  • Retail - supermarkets, and clothing stores

  • Hospitality - cafes, bars and restaurants

  • Tourism - hotels and motels

  • Agricultural - farming and fruit-picking

  • Sales and telemarketing

  • Administration or Clerical roles

  • Tutoring

Stay tuned to for more news and updates on Australia

Part Time Jobs

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Arden University, Berlin
Arden University, Berlin
PTE- Pearson Test of English
PTE- Pearson Test of English
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